|Home||Who we are||What we do||Where we work||News, events & media||Contact us|
The General Assembly (GA) is the major knowledge-sharing event of the year for EIFL. Coordinators from EIFL partner countries and invited guests meet to discuss EIFL activities and strategies, and to debate state-of-the-art issues and developments with resource persons, representatives from key international initiatives and publisher partners.
Entitled “From Gutenberg to the Internet - A New Renaissance for Libraries”, the GA was part of the official programme of celebrations for the UNESCO World Book Capital awarded in 2012 to Yerevan, Armenia. The theme of the GA reflected the transition from print to digital content, and explored challenges and new opportunities for libraries. Interactive sessions included open access book publishing, advocacy for consortia, and issues to consider when adopting e-books and undertaking digitization projects.
This year’s GA was attended by 71 participants from 43 countries, and 13 publisher partners.
EIFL was honoured that the GA was attended by Hasmik Poghosyan, Minister of Culture of Armenia, who gave a welcome speech on the role of libraries in today’s society. We are most grateful to the Ministry of Culture for also providing financial support.
“We were proud to host the GA because, in addition to the rich professional experience it offers, we had the privilege of introducing the EIFL community to the culture, history, tradition and soul of Armenia, one of the ancient civilizations of the world.” Tigran Zargaryan, Director, National Library of Armenia (left)
“The thing that impressed me most about the EIFL GA was how well the group works together given the vast differences in local situations, the ability to focus on common issues and the sharing of experiences - it really highlights the value of networks.” Michael W. Carroll (right), Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law, USA who gave the keynote speech on the promise of open access for development.
An ever popular feature of the GA is speeddating. Participants have an opportunity to spend 15 minutes with each publisher and also EIFL programme managers to learn about new products and developments, discuss any problems, or to simply catch up!
“This was my first EIFL GA and hopefully not my last! There is a real sense of community, and the ‘speed dating’ sessions enabled me to meet and talk to all the participants. From a publisher’s perspective, this is very beneficial and very rare for a gathering of this size.” Niall Culligan, Journals Sales Executive, Taylor & Francis
“The EIFL GA is always a great conference to attend as you get the chance to meet and talk with representatives from over 40 countries! It’s one of those events that you really shouldn’t miss." Marcin Kwiatkowski, Sales Manager, SAGE Publications (below left)
We were pleased to welcome those attending their first GA.
“I was very impressed by all the presentations, particularly those focusing on what countries have already done or achieved. The EIFL GA was a very useful experience for me, as the Chairperson of a consortium. The GA is not only a knowledge sharing event but it inspires those who work closely with libraries.” Baljid Dashdeleg, Chairperson, Mongolia Libraries Consortium (right)
“The GA has been immensely useful for me and by extension for all my colleagues, because I intend to share widely the knowledge I have gained when I am back home.” Mesfin Abera, Chairperson, Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (left)
“Why have I never been to a GA before? I should have come much earlier to benefit from all the knowledge we are learning and sharing.” Isaac Safari, Executive Secretary, Consortium for Tanzania Universities and Research Libraries
“The GA is a wonderful mixture of the highly professional and the very friendly - a great environment for international cooperation.” Rusudan Asatiani, Leading Specialist, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia
We were also delighted to celebrate the achievements of two consortia which have shown exceptional increases in uptake and usage of commercial e-resources available through the EIFL-Licensing Programme.
“We were delighted to sponsor this award, particularly as we celebrated our fifth birthday during the GA. Throughout this time we have worked closely with EIFL to provide low cost access in many countries, including Estonia.” Paul Calow (right), International Sales Director, Burgundy Information Services
Rosemary Otando (left), EIFL Country Coordinator from Kenya, won the award (sponsored by JSTOR) for the best performance over the last year following an annual increase in downloads of over 13,000%.
“The GA guides us through the most current issues facing libraries, enabling participants to share experience and providing a great sense of working towards a common goal. Esprit de corps is our power.” Gintare Tautkeviciene, Chair, EIFL Advisory Board
“The theme of this year’s GA was e-books and the digitization of content. Marking 500 years of printing in Armenia - the new media of its day - the development of libraries was revolutionized. Today libraries are undergoing another transformation. We were inspired and enlightened by the presentations taking us on the path from print to digital – a testimony to the work of EIFL!” Tseli Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa, Member, EIFL Advisory Board (right)
“The EIFL GA is different from our usual local and regional events. People from many different countries come together to share their practices which we can use in our consortium or library. It is diverse yet unified, professional yet personal, and very, very friendly. A truly unique event!” Elena Sipria-Mironov, Project Manager, University of Tartu Library (left)
“What struck me most about the EIFL GA was such a diversity of people with such a commonality of purpose.” Ronald Snijder,Project Manager Digital Publications, OAPEN Foundation (right)
Photos from the General Assembly are now available here.